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ERIC Number: ED198786
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Symmetrical Communications: Developing Mutual Understanding and Consensus in Course Teams.
Kemmis, Stephen
The notion of symmetrical communication and its application in course teams at Deakin University, Australia, are considered. Symmetry in communications is evident in groups characterized by mutual recognition by members of one another as persons accepted and appreciated in their common striving for mutual understanding and consensus. The technique used by the course team is based on informal videotape analysis and group discussion of blockages to communication. Since conflict and misunderstanding may generate disaffection within a group that alienates members and reduces their commitment to the group project, the symmetrical communication process is designed to recognize and counter these dysfunctional tendencies. Videotapes of group meetings are replayed, and whenever a group member notices some blockage to communication or some constructive contribution, the wideotape is stopped. Individuals involved in the incident are invited to enlarge on their actions or reactions or comment upon the group process. Then wider group discussion begins, and the group attempts to confirm the apparent pattern, find reasons for the blockage, or interpret the group effects of the incident. Where possible and appropriate, strategies for preventing the blockage or overcoming its immediate effects are suggested. Main points emerging from these discussions are recorded as minutes on overhead transparencies when possible, and later photocopied and distributed to participants. Some of the group interaction factors that emerged through this process at Deakin University are identified. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia; Deakin University (Australia)